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1985-86 in Pakistan
The Sri Lankans were buoyant after recording their first ever victory in a Test series against India the previous month, but they failed to carry their optimism to Pakistan. Their second visit proved to be disappointing, although the emergence of Aravinda de Silva - who in the first Test scored his maiden century - was a plus point. The lifeless pitch allowed a pair of double hundreds for Qasim Umar and Javed Miandad in Pakistan's first innings, but little for the bowlers. Pakistan cruised to an easy win in the second Test, despite 8 for 83 from Ravi Ratnayake which restricted Pakistan to a relatively limp 259. Sri Lanka then limped along in their second innings, falling to Khan again whose 5 for 40 limited Pakistan's eventual target to just 99, which they reached without trouble. Although the 10-wicket win in the second Test implied a crushing victory for Pakistan, only Imran Khan and Javed Miandad made fifties in their first innings. However, such were the outstanding performances of Abdul Qadir (5 for 44) and Tauseef Ahmed (5 for 54) that Pakistan waltzed to victory, although not before de Silva had brought up his second century.
Pakistan 2 Sri Lanka 0
1985-86 in Sri Lanka
The following February, Sri Lanka played host to Pakistan and drew the series 1-1. After winning the first Test convincingly, Pakistan lost the second Test by eight wickets - and threatened to return home in a huff after complaints had been made about the standard of umpiring. Sri Lanka weren't complaining, though; Kosala Kuruppuarachchi, making his debut and dismissing Mudassar with his third ball in Test cricket, took 5 for 44 in Pakistan's first innings to restrict them to 172. And although Qasim Umar's aggressive 50 gave Pakistan some hope in their second innings, the target of 32 was never going to be a problem for Sri Lanka who achieved their second victory in Tests. In the final Test, Sri Lanka were indebted to Ranatanga who batted for the entire fifth day to score an unbeaten 135. He and Asanka Gurusinha put on a record unbeaten stand of 240 to ensure a drawn series.
Sri Lanka 1 Pakistan 1
1991-92 in Pakistan
Pakistan looked set for a victory in the first Test of the 1991-92 series, but for the attacking counter play from Sanath Jayasuriya and Hashan Tillakaratne. The pair saved the Sri Lankans who had stumbled to 58 for 5, with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis nipping out the openers, before the two captains agreed to a draw. After persistent drizzle and bad light only allowed 36 overs to be bowled in the second Test, Sri Lanka nearly achieved their first victory on foreign soil in the final Test. Sanath Jayasuriya made a fine 81 in their first innings, and struck a lonesome figure in their second innings when he top-scored with 45. Waqar Younis ran riot, taking 5 for 65 - to add to his four wickets in the first innings - as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 165. Pakistan, requiring 185, stumbled to 149 for 5 - with Kapila Wijegunawardene taking 4 for 51 - but Wasim Akram's 54 and Moin Khan's unbeaten 22 gave Pakistan a three-wicket win and a series victory.
Pakistan 1 Sri Lanka 0
1994-95 in Sri Lanka
Wisden described Sri Lanka's approach on this tour as "mistaken", citing the aggressive and swashbuckling strokeplay of Aravinda de Silva as a key factor to their loss in the first Test. Saeed Anwar fell six short of an elegant hundred for Pakistan and, in reply, Sri Lanka crumbled to Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed, both of whom took three wickets. De Silva's enterprising 127 enabled Sri Lanka to creep past 200 but, in Pakistan's second innings, Anwar made amends and to strike his second Test hundred and lead Pakistan to declare on 318 for 4. Needing 483 for victory, they folded for 181; only Ranatguna (41), playing in his 50th Test, managed to delay the inevitable. The second Test was cancelled without a ball being bowled, owing to fears of civil unrest; two further ODIs were played instead. Pakistan stormed to an easy win in the third Test after dismissing Sri Lanka for a paltry 71, their lowest Test score, in just over two hours. Waqar Younis decimated Sri Lanka with six wickets in the first innings and another five in their second outing. Despite a brave backs-to-the-wall fifty from Tillakaratne (83*), Pakistan cruised to victory by an innings and 52 runs to take the series 2-0.
Sri Lanka 0 Pakistan 2
1995-96 in Pakistan
Sri Lanka, led by Arjuna Ranatunga, created history on the 1995-96 tour of Pakistan with their first Test series victory over Pakistan, made all the more impressive after their crushing defeat in the first Test. Underlining the rise in their fortunes, the Sri Lankans fought back brilliantly in the second Test, largely thanks to Muttiah Muralitharan's seven wickets in the match. Although Anwar struck another fifty - his third in as many innings - Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas took them to victory. Buoyed by their win, Sri Lanka were a team united for the third Test, waltzing past Pakistan by 144 runs. They batted poorly in their first innings, but Muralitharan (4 for 72) was to the fore again to restrict Pakistan to 232. Aided by Ranatunga'a 87, Tillakaratne's 50 and 73 from Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka were able to set Pakistan the testing target of 357. This time, Muralitharan didn't play a part and it was the two seamers - Pramodya Wickramasinghe and Chaminda Vaas - who took Sri Lanka to victory.
Pakistan 1 Sri Lanka 2
1996-97 - in Sri Lanka
The loss of Muttiah Muralitharan proved to be decisive for Sri Lanka in the 1996-97 series, although he played his part in the first innings of the first Test. After picking up 6 for 98, a torn side muscle and a bad finger kept him out of the series. Consquently Sri Lanka's potency was diminished. After batting the game to safety in the first Test - de Silva made a magnificent 168 and three others contributed fifties - the batsmen again did the business in the second. Hundreds, inevitably, from Jaysuriya and de Silva left the Pakistanis chasing a mammoth 426 for victory - but they flirted with defeat in each of the four sessions. When Vaas removed Rameez Raja with the fourth ball of the innings, who was soon followed by Saleem Elahi, Pakistan were struggling. But a brilliant hundred from Saleem Malik (155) and an unbeaten fifty from Inzamam-ul-Haq ended the match, and the series, in a draw.
Sri Lanka 0 Pakistan 0
1999-2000 in Pakistan
The superb form of Muralitharan was the outstanding difference between the two teams, although Pakistan weren't afforded much luck with a catalogue of injuries. Although blown apart by Muralitharan and Wickramasinghe in their first innings, Pakistan fought back brilliantly in their second thanks to a hundred from Younis Khan and a typically pugnacious 79 from Wasim Akram. Leaving Sri Lanka the tricky target of 220, the visitors were struggling at 177 for 8. However, their former captain, Ranatunga - batting with a broken thumb - joined Romesh Kaluwitharana and their fighting stand of 43 took them through to a win. The second Test was arguably more tense than the first, however Muralitharan proved to be the decisive factor. Having played sensibly to reach 154 for 3 in reply to Sri Lanka's 268, Pakistan imploded to fall for 199, with Muralitharan taking 4 for 77. Sri Lanka weren't much better in their second innings - Russell Arnold stood out with 99, but nobody else reached 50 - to leave Pakistan chasing 294. Enter Murali. Despite a fighting 88 from Yousuf Youhana, Murali's 6 for 71 gave Sri Lanka a 57-run and Jayasuriya his third successive Test series win since taking over the team the previous July. To their credit, Pakistan avoided a whitewash to claim the final Test thanks to 138 from Inzamam-ul-Haq and a three-wicket burst from Shahid Afridi.
Sri Lanka 2 Pakistan 1
1999-2000 in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's joy at winning their Test series in Pakistan in March evaporated three months later when Pakistan extracted revenge with a remorseless 2-0 victory in the three-Test series played in Sri Lanka. It was not that the Sri Lankans underperformed; they simply came up against a Pakistan team playing at their peak. Wasim Akram upstaged Sri Lanka's 100th-Test celebrations with a virtuoso performance in the first Test. On the third day, he kept Pakistan in contention with a fighting innings of 78. Next, he demolished the home side's second innings with his 25th five-wicket return in Tests, setting Pakistan up for victory inside four days. His 5 for 45 ruined Sri Lanka's second innings, leaving Pakistan the simple target of 131. Akram was to the fore again in the second Test; his 89-ball hundred - one of four from the Pakistanis - gave Pakistan vital momentum and three wickets in the match sealed Sri Lanka's fate, before rain called an end to proceedings in the third Test.
Pakistan 2 Sri Lanka 0
2004-05 in Pakistan
If ever a Test could be said to have turned on one delivery, this was it. At 15 for 1 in their second innings of the first Test, Sri Lanka still trailed by six runs, when Jayasuriya, on 9, was caught behind off Shoaib Akhtar. It was signalled a no-ball, and Jayasuriya went on to score a wonderfully authoritative, match-winning 253, a record in this fixture. It would, however, be wrong to put Sri Lanka's success simply down to one man. Samaraweera scored his first Test hundred outside Sri Lanka to help rescue them from 9 for 3 on the first morning; Herath excelled with ball and, more surprisingly, bat; Sangakkara and Jayawardene played important innings on the third day; and Fernando produced an outstanding spell of fast bowling on the fourth evening. The second Test was full of feats of individual brilliance, littered with landmarks and complete with a result that could have gone either way. Pakistan won to square the series, but Sri Lanka - 270 behind on first innings - showed real fighting spirit and might have pulled off an astonishing victory had Sangakkara clung on to an edge offered by Abdul Razzaq when Pakistan were 59 for 4 in pursuit of 137. Sri Lanka's fighting spirit was thwarted by Danish Kaneria, whose 7 for 118 finally wrapped up their second innings, leaving Pakistan just 137 to chase.
Pakistan 1 Sri Lanka 1
2005-06 in Sri Lanka
The series began with an absorbing Test at the SSC, during which the pitch improved daily after being drenched on the first day, and was eventually left drawn after Shoaib Malik's first century. When play finally began on a clammy, gloomy second morning, Sri Lanka slumped to 32 for 5 at the hands of Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul. Tillakarante Dilshan and Farveez Maharoof resurrected them to 185, after which Maharoof and Lasith Malinga shared seven wickets to bowl Pakistan out for 176. Sri Lanka did far better the second time around, thanks to a polished 72 from Upul Tharanga, an epic 185 by Sangakkara, and Jayawardene's 82. A declaration midway through the fourth afternoon set Pakistan a mountainous 458 and they negotiated the threat of Murali to secure a draw quite comfortably in the end. Malik, neither a customary opener nor a habitual blocker, shunned his normal flamboyance during a match-saving marathon. A drop by Sangakkara when he was on 14 was massive. A characteristic Kandy Test followed, played under indecisive skies and not short of on-field drama and off-field distractions. The days leading into the match were dominated by the sideshow of Jayasuriya's short-lived Test retirement, and during it came a quarrel between Bob Woolmer and the head groundsman, who accused Pakistan's coach of "interfering with pitch preparation" when he inserted a thin metal spike into the side of it to test the amount of moisture underneath. The pitch did indeed raise eyebrows, as wickets tumbled fast and the match plunged towards a three-day finish. There was uneven bounce and Asif took six, Kaneria four, to bowl Sri Lanka out for 279. Pakistan's openers added 57, but Murali claimed 5 for 59 as Pakistan lost their last eight wickets for 49. With a lead of 109, Sri Lanka self-destructed to 73 for 8, with Asif again the hero. Twenty wickets fell on the day. Pakistan needed 183 to win, and after a series of marginal lbw appeals were turned down, Younis Khan, after three low scores in the series, took control with an unbeaten 73.
Pakistan 1 Sri Lanka 0
2008-09 in Pakistan
The series that doomed Pakistan as a host for the foreseeable future. On the morning of March 3, 2009 , masked terrorists attacked the team bus carrying Sri Lanka's cricketers to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore for what would have been the third day of the second Test. Five Sri Lankan cricketers were injured in the attack which killed six security men and two civilians. The tour was called off and the consequences were dire for Pakistan, the most damaging being losing hosting rights to the 2011 World Cup. The quality of cricket, though, wasn't the best. The series was lopsided in favour of the batsmen. In the first Test in Karachi, double-centuries by Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera led Sri Lanka to 644. Pakistan responded with a monumental 765, with Younis Khan compiling 313. The Lahore Test had settled into a similar script. Samaraweera's second double-century took Sri Lanka to 606 and Pakistan had gotten off to a good reply, until terror struck. Sri Lanka won the ODIs that preceded the Tests, mauling the hosts by 234 runs in the final ODI to seal the series.
Tests Pakistan 0 Sri Lanka 0
ODIs Sri Lanka 2 Pakistan 1
2009 in Sri Lanka
The horrors of Lahore behind them, the teams met in the return series later in the year. Pakistan welcomed back Mohammad Yousuf to the fold, and Sri Lanka, a new Test captain in Kumar Sangakkara. The series was the making of Rangana Herath. He filled in for the injured Muttiah Muralitharan and spun Sri Lanka to a remarkable win in the first Test in Galle. Chasing 168, Pakistan were coasting at 71 for 2 but collapsed to 117, with Herath picking four wickets. The second Test at the P Sara Oval also witnessed a couple of stunning collapses by Pakistan. A combined bowling effort bundled out Pakistan for 90 in the first innings. After conceding a lead of 150, Pakistan took control in the second innings and were at 285 for 1 at one stage, with debutant Fawad Alam making a century. The next nine wickets fell for 35 runs, with Herath taking five, as Sri Lanka somehow barged in through the back door and knocked off the required runs to take a 2-0 lead. Pakistan put on a better show in the third Test at SSC, setting Sri Lanka 492 to win. The hosts made good progress, but called off the game 101 short of the target.
Tests Sri Lanka 2 Pakistan 0
ODIs Sri Lanka 3 Pakistan 2
T20 Pakistan 1 Sri Lanka 0
2011-12 in UAE
The series was staged at a neutral venue - United Arab Emirates - following the terror attacks in Lahore which kept international cricket out of Pakistan. Under Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan had learned to cope well with the spot-fixing controversy and other off-field dramas.Sri Lanka, meanwhile, had slumped after Muttiah Muralitharan retired, failing to win a Test since. Sri Lanka were bowled out on the first day in Abu Dhabi, before Taufeeq Umer's slow 236 gave Pakistan an overwhelming lead. Kumar Sangakkara notched up a double-century in the second innings but there wasn't enough time to force a result. Batting led Sri Lanka down in both innings in the second Test in Dubai. Azhar Ali's century gave Pakistan a big first-innings lead but there was no fightback from Sri Lanka as Saeed Ajmal picked up five wickets to set up a nine-wicket win. Sharjah, which hosted its first Test in nine years, witnessed a better performance by Sri Lanka. Sangakkara's century led his side to 413, but Pakistan failed to take a first-innings lead. Pakistan were set 255 to chase but bizarrely, rain interrupted the final day and halted Sri Lanka's hopes of squaring the series. The one-day series was a more lopsided contest, with Pakistan winning four out of five. The over dependence on Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara contributed to Sri Lanka's poor results.
Tests Pakistan 1 Sri Lanka 0 Drawn 2
ODIs Pakistan 4 Sri Lanka 1
T20 Pakistan 1 Sri Lanka 0
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough